Gdańsk to host EuroSkills 2023 following Russia suspension

The last-minute decision to move the EuroSkills competition follows Russia's suspension from WorldSkills earlier this year because of the invasion of Ukraine.

The last-minute decision to move the EuroSkills competition follows Russia's suspension from WorldSkills earlier this year because of the invasion of Ukraine.

WorldSkills leaders have selected Gdańsk, Poland to replace St Petersburg as the host city for the 2023 Euroskills competition, it has been announced. 

Germany and Luxembourg were also successful in their bid to co-host EuroSkills 2027, which will take place in Düsseldorf.

Next year’s European competition had originally been scheduled to take place in St Petersburg, Russia. However a decision was made to suspend Russia and Belarus from WorldSkills International Board back in March at emergency meeting citing Russia’s “enormous breach of the WorldSkills code of ethics and conduct” following its invasion of Ukraine.

“We applaud WorldSkills Poland for their courage and commitment to organise a EuroSkills Competition, especially at such short notice” said Teija Ripattila, chair of the WorldSkills Europe board, which met yesterday afternoon to ratify decisions on future host cities.

Next year’s competition will be the eighth EuroSkills competition, which take place every other year, with 600 young people from 31 countries expected to take part. Competitors will be battling it out for medals in up to 50 different skills areas. 

Organisers expect around 100,000 visitors to descent on the Polish city over the duration of the competition, scheduled to take place between September 5-9, 2023.

The UK has welcomed the move to Gdańsk.

Neil Bentley-Gockmann, the chief executive of WorldSkills UK, said: “There is no denying that the past few years have thrown up many challenges for young people selected to represent their country but unable to test their skills against the best of the rest.

“EuroSkills 2023 is a really important opportunity for our young professionals to benchmark their skills against the best in Europe.”

A ‘pipeline of international skills events for young professionals’

WorldSkills Europe’s board have also announced that Düsseldorf will host the 2027 EuroSkills competition today following a successful joint bid by WorldSkills Germany and WorldSkills Luxembourg. 

This completes a busy five-year calendar of skills events for UK competitors to test their skills against the best in Europe and the rest of the world.

“With EuroSkills 2023 confirmed in Gdańsk, WorldSkills Lyon taking place in 2024, EuroSkills 2025 in Hernig, Denmark and EuroSkills 2027 in Düsseldorf, it’s great to have a pipeline of international skills events for young professionals in the UK to aspire to” Bentley-Gockmann said.

International skills competitions have inevitably faced major disruptions due to Covid-19 restrictions over the last two years.

The global WorldSkills Shanghai competition was supposed to take place in 2021 but was postponed to October 2022 because of the pandemic. It was finally cancelled recently due to ongoing Covid-related controls and restrictions in China. 

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